Europe,  Portugal,  Travels

Fabulous Sintra

Are you in Lisbon? Do you wonder if there are places worth to visit close? Here you can find information about the best Sintra attractions.

How to get to Sintra from Lisbon

From Lisbon to Sintra you can get by direct train from Rossio Railway Station. The train leaves every 20-30 minutes and the journey time is about 1 hour. Get out at the last station named ‘Sintra’. The single ticket price is 2.20 E. Also, you can reach Sintra by bus, but I don’t recommend this option, because of the need for changing the mode of transport. From Lisbon, you should take a train to Cascais, next a bus to Sintra Mira (15 km away from Sintra), and then another bus to Sintra. As I said it’s not the fastest way to get to the city. A good option is also to hire a car. From Lisbon to Sintra leads off a highway. 

Why Sintra is the greatest place for tourists? Because it offers a lot to see: stunning palaces, castles, residences, and mysterious gardens. During years Sintra was known as the summer residence of Portuguese lords. The second reason is the location of Sintra because the city is located up to the hill named Serra de Sintra from which stretches the breathtaking view .

How to move around Sintra?

You can wander through all of Sintra attractions on foot, but it’s very exhausting and time-consuming. As I mentioned Sintra is located up to the hill. But don’t worry, the city offers tourists buses, which go around the main attractions. If you choose this option, take bus number 434 (goes to Pena Palace and to Moorish Castle) or 435 (goes to Monserrate Palace and Seteais Palace, and stops near to Quinta da Regaleira Gardens). The buses leave near to Sintra railway station and go several times per hour. You can buy a single ticket or two-way ticket (costs 5 E and gives the possibility to get out and get in at every bus stop). In high season buses are crowded.

Sintra’s attractions

As I mentioned Sintra offers a lot to see: castles, palaces, residences, and gardens. Close to Sintra railway station is located National Palace of Sintra (with characteristic white chimneys). It is known of its beautiful elements of Arabic interior design and ornamental ceilings. 10 minutes away from National Palace (you should turn right and follow the signs) is situated Quinta da Regaleira – the Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire, which consists of a romantic palace and chapel, and mysterious park with lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, and fountains. The main attraction of it is The Initiation Well – underground towers lined with stairs, which were used for masonic ceremonial purposes.

Additional worth see attraction which towers above the city is Moorish Castle – nowadays the ruins of the ancient fortress. The castle was built by Arabs during Al-Andalus times. In 1147 castle was conquered by Christians. Over time the castle lost its defensive position and started to perish. In 1775 the Moorish Castle was destroyed by the earthquake. 

Moorish Castle – Sintra 
Moorish Castle – Sintra

15 minutes by walk from Moorish Castle you can get to Pena Palace – resembling a fabulous palace of Disney World because of its colored facade. Is surrounded by huge and beautiful Pena Park. The Palace is the most popular attraction in Sintra. Attracts a lot of tourists from the whole world.

Pena Palace view from Moorish Castle – Sintra
Pena Palace – Sintra
Pena Palace – Sintra
Pena Palace – Sintra

More information about opening hours and ticket prices of palaces you can find on website: https://www.parquesdesintra.pt/en/plan-your-visit-en/opening-times-and-prices/

Our trip plan

We got to Sintra in morning hours. We have known that is not possible to see all attraction which offers the city so before our trip, we established which places we wanted to visit. We took a tourists bus from Sintra railway station and our first stop was the Moorish Castle. The journey started behind the gate near to ticket office. The route to the castle led through the park. A view which stretched from the castle was breathtaking.  We were wandering through the ruins of the fortress. We recommend this place – it’s worth to see.

From Moorish Castle, we walked to Pena Palace. As I mentioned it was about 15 minutes away. The palace resembled the palace from Disney World – colored facade, characteristic carves. We felt like in a fabulous world. Despite of many tourists, we think that is the place worth to visit.

Unfortunately, we haven’t had more time to see other places in Sintra. We had to take a bus to Cabo da Roca.

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